Speech

Description 

The Speech Performance Task Guide takes students through the steps of writing and delivering a speech that communicates a strong position on an issue.
Public speaking is often associated with positions of leadership and social or political influence: the class president who addresses the student body, the CEO who introduces a new product at a company meeting, the pastor or rabbi who addresses her congregation, the government official who takes questions at a press conference. For many, the idea of standing in front of an audience to speak feels daunting. Yet speeches are used in almost all professions and most of us, at some time in our life, will be expected to formally address an audience. Public speaking encompasses many different elements that require thoughtful preparation: crafting the speech, practicing delivery, anticipating and engaging one's audience, and making appropriate decisions about one's self-presentation. It also requires confidence and comfort with a degree of vulnerability. These are skills and dispositions that must be developed with practice, feedback, and experience. The Speech Performance Task Guide is a tool for guiding students through this process.

Opportunities for Student Choice 

Student choice can be encouraged in a number of ways. They can choose the issue, and/or they can choose their position. They can also choose the resources they review; the facts, details, evidence, and anecdotes they will present; and/or the audience and purpose of their speech.

Authentic Task 

Speeches are used in almost all professions: the medical field, business, legal services, educational tools and services, news, and politics, to name a few. Within these fields, they are used in various ways, including in meetings, at conferences, to sway public opinion, and to call communities, constituents, and stakeholders to action on various issues. Both historically and currently, mastery of rhetoric is an essential skill.

Opportunities for Exhibition to an Audience 

There are many possible audiences for speeches. If students are working on a school issue it might be a speech delivered at an assembly or a video speech posted on the school’s website. If it's a community issue they might post their speech on the web or present their speech at a council meeting or town hall. Students can create a guest blog post for their videos. They can create their own class web link and put their videos together in one place. Students might also submit proposals to present at a conference, or look for a site that supports youth voices.

Downloadable Resources 
Login to See More

Explore the Genre of Speeches

What makes a great speech? Develop a clear enough understanding of the history and characteristics of this genre to be able to explain your understanding to others

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.L.3, CCRA.SL.3, CCRA.R.2

Time To Complete 

1-2 days

Speech Performance Tasks Rubric

What are the expectations for this performance task?  

Each performance task has a single-point rubric, which lays out the expectations for college-and career-ready performance. This type of rubric allows teachers to provide specific, focused feedback without limiting students’ creativity or putting a ceiling on their...

Choose a Topic_Speech

What makes for a good topic for a speech?
Identify an issue that you either feel strongly about or wonder about.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.7

Time To Complete 

1-2 Days

Determine Your Audience_Speech

To whom am I speaking?
Determine who the audience of the speech is.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.L.3
  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.W.4

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Determine Your Purpose_Speech

What do I want my speech to accomplish?
Determine what you want to get your audience to know or do based on hearing your speech.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.L.3
  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.W.4

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Research the Issue_Speech

What do people know, say, and believe about this issue?
Find and analyze resources that will help you grasp the topic’s key concepts, in addition to deepening your understanding of the range of perspectives about the issue, with a focus on locating both numerical and qualitative data.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.W.1

Time To Complete 

1-2 Days

Choose a Position_Speech

What is your position on this issue?
Consider the research you have undertaken and the numerical data available, and use it to inform the crafting of an evidence-based position on the issue.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.8
  • CCRA.W.1

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Outline and Draft the Speech_Speech

How to craft a great speech?  How do I start, end, and engage the audience?  What length works?  What are good speechwriting techniques to present information orally?
Organize your thoughts about the issue, and the supporting evidence you have collected, into a powerful speech. Construct a first draft.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.W.1
  • CCRA.W.4

Time To Complete 

2+ Days

Give and Receive Feedback_Speech

How do authors and speechwriters collaborate to make their presentations more effective?
Give and receive feedback that is focused and constructive and will help the student improve their speech.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.SL.1
  • CCRA.SL.3
  • CCRA.W.5

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Revise_Speech

How can you improve your presentation?
Using feedback from a peer and/or teacher, strengthen your speech with a focus on speaking skills such as intonation, pacing, and body language, as well as a focus on meaning and language within the speech.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.SL.1
  • CCRA.SL.3
  • CCRA.W.5

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Edit_Speech

How can you improve your draft?
Using feedback from a peer and/or teacher, strengthen your speech with a focus on grammar and professional language.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.W.4
  • CCRA.W.5

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Practice & Prepare_Speech

How do you prepare to give a speech?
Create and execute a plan prior to giving your speech to ensure that you have focused on pace, tone, intonation, posture, body language, hand gestures, and eye contact and have adequately practiced.

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.SL.5
  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.SL.1

Time To Complete 

1-2 Days